How to Become a Certified Teacher in NH and Make a Difference


Male teacher in high school classroom

Making a Difference

Young girl with maskIn New Hampshire and nationwide, there’s a critical shortage of certified teachers across subjects. From English to math, science to special education, there’s a pressing need for qualified professionals to fill these critical roles. There’s also strong demand for instructional specialists, educational specialists, and administrators.

24% of New Hampshire educators are 55 or older

As experienced educators retire, many of their positions are not being filled. As a result, those with teacher certifications are in high demand. Certified teachers have a unique opportunity to make a positive, lifelong impact on the next generation.

Teacher certification programs provide educators with the skills they need to improve their practice and help students learn more. In addition, a teacher certification can help educators advance more quickly up the salary scale.

Pathways to Teacher Certification in New Hampshire

1. Approved Educator Preparation Program

This is the most common pathway, with about 60% of certified teachers going through approved certification programs. To earn their certification, candidates can either complete an approved bachelor’s program or a post-baccalaureate certification program. After completing a program, candidates must pass the required content and subject area examinations. This pathway prepares educators with a broad set of skills and knowledge to best serve their students.

2. Site-Based Licensing Plan

Those who have a bachelor’s degree may be eligible for a Site-Based Licensing Plan. This less common pathway requires candidates to receive a statement of eligibility (SOE) from a senior district administration official. Once a candidate obtains an SOE, they have three years to complete the certification requirements while working under an Intern Authorization. Candidates are assigned a mentor who they work with to develop a rigorous Individualized Professional Development Plan to meet the competencies for licensure.

3. Demonstrated Competencies

Those who meet the requirements can also earn a teacher’s certification through demonstrated competencies. One way to demonstrate competencies is by presenting a portfolio before an oral board of three educators. To qualify, a candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree and meet applicable testing, experience, and reference letter requirements. Additionally, candidates must have at least four months of full-time continuous educator experience in the area of endorsement for which the certification is being requested.

Emily Gannon, Granite State CollegeToday’s world requires responsive and resilient teachers, and the students in Granite State College’s online teacher certification programs inspire me every day. I have no doubt they’ll use GSC’s learning experience to change lives for the better!

– Emily Gannon, field placement faculty member at Granite State College

Career Advancement Opportunities

For teachers who have already earned their initial certification, there are additional career advancement opportunities.

Graduate Degrees and Certifications

Earning a graduate degree or certificate often provides experienced teachers the opportunity to serve as lead teachers within their departments, supporting curriculum development and working with less experienced teachers to help them improve their skills. Advanced degrees and certifications may also help teachers advance more quickly up the salary scale.

National Board Certification

Certified teachers with more than three years of teaching experience can apply for certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. National Board Certification is available in 25 certificate areas representing 16 different disciplines and four developmental levels. To apply, applicants must complete a computer-based assessment and submit three portfolios demonstrating instruction practices and competencies. National Board Certification helps teachers to improve their practices, enhance student learning, and advance their professional opportunities.

Advanced Endorsements

Teachers who have earned or are pursuing a graduate degree or certificate may also have opportunities for advanced endorsements in their specialization. Earning advanced endorsements can help teachers stand out from their colleagues. For example, a certified special education teacher can earn an advanced endorsement in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to better tailor their practices to their students’ needs.

The Granite State College Advantage

At Granite State College, our programs are online, affordable, and top ranked. Our students have the unique opportunity to earn their degree and certification while working in the field. Students can fulfill their teaching hours while working as paraprofessionals, classroom aides, assistants, or Alternative 4 teachers. Students can also volunteer to fulfill their hours. Our field placement faculty are all certified teachers with experience in the classroom. They specialize in placing teachers in districts across the state.

We are regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Our teacher certification programs are reviewed annually by the New Hampshire Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Click here to learn about our teacher programs.